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Review of ‘Ideeit’ by Harold Nono on Bearsuit Records — July 20, 2016

Review of ‘Ideeit’ by Harold Nono on Bearsuit Records


This is an extremely good album. The sounds have been excellently crafted and chosen and are layered to excellent effect.

It defies categorisation yet doesn’t sound too experimental and has a great coherence with subtleties and superb atmospheres. There’s a great flow to the songs, each of which really holds your interest and allow you to interpret them freely. I really like how the production gives each sound it’s own space and the songs have a cinematic quality and a contemplative feel at times and an edgy feel at others.

Tahiik
I really like how this song is hard to describe, it opens with a hint of a trip hop vibe and there’s a cinematic feel at times through the strings and a 60s secret agent type of ending. The song has a great arrangement and excellent layering of sounds with a really subtle recording in the background which adds a great element.

Dedy
Very atmospheric opening with strings and drone, there are some excellent sound effects and a great guitar riff. The percussion is sparse and works really well. Again there’s some excellent layered sounds and looping elements too. A great change in feel with the more defined percussive rhythm and distorted guitar.

Otosan
Another great opening with vinyl noise, subtle background sounds and a piano riff gives a great contrast. I really like the layering of sounds, a great atmosphere to this song.

The King Tree
A big warm pad sound to open with an excellent chime sound, there’s banjo too I think. Another excellent production with great layering and a nice change of feel with the use of distorted sounds and return to the pad sound to end.

Life Under The Layfayette
Great strings and percussion to open, a very cinematic feel. There’s some really subtle layering which works to great effect.

Running Down a Pipe
Another atmospheric opening, the song has a great selection of sounds and really nice subtle use of delay.

Atam No Nai Uma Gash Hashiro
A plucked string sound to open, sparse playing creates a great tension. The song evolves really well with the introduction of bass and percussion to give a more defined momentum.

I’m Disguised As An Idiot
Quite an edgy opening, a really sparse percussive rhythm and vinyl sounds with a vocal sounding backing. It’s glitchy at times and retains an edgy feel.

Unbeaten Brothers and Sisters
An ominous sounding bass with emerging percussion to open. The piano, vocals and more defined drum pattern add really interesting elements.

Dead Man’s Fall
A great glitchy opening, there’s a glitchy blues sounding riff with an increasingly urgent impact type of sound. I really like the changes in feel, there’s a kind of call and response feel followed by a cinematic sounding part followed by a darker drone / synth section.

The Saline Revival Show
An evolving opening, a drone and background sounds followed by a great string riff with layered background sounds, the song evolves really well with the strings. It has a sparse and haunting quality.

Watashi Wa La Ni Kaeritai
A sparse riff with excellently layered background sounds, this song has a great contemplative feel. There’s a period of silence followed by a great ambience of piano and strings to end the song.

 

Harold Nono on facebook | soundcloud

Bearsuit Records website | facebook | twitter

Review of ‘Holding Out For The Kicks’ album by Little Lapin (releases 16th July 2016) — July 14, 2016

Review of ‘Holding Out For The Kicks’ album by Little Lapin (releases 16th July 2016)

 
Holding Out For The Kicks is the second album by Little Lapin and will be released on 16th July 2016. I’ve previously reviewed her first album Remember The Highs and was very impressed, in fact it was voted best International Album 2015 by Unsigned and Independent Music Magazine.

Holding Out For The Kicks is an excellent follow up. There’s a great vibe to this album, laid back grooves from solid drumming and bass are accompanied by some excellent guitar playing and Lucy’s superb voice really holds your attention. The album has a great natural and organic feel. A lot of the songs have a stripped back feel and the arrangements / production is spot on, each element gets its own space to grow and evolve resulting in a beautiful, captivating album which is edged with a sadness or longing at times.

Californian Sun
Strummed chords to open leading into a riff with a hint of surf guitar, bass and drumming provide a great momentum. Lucy’s vocals are excellent and there’s some nice harmonies too. The song has a great tension and a laid back groove.

Baby Blue
A great slow evolving opening with vocals and guitar, it has quite a haunting feel. Percussion builds gradually and sits low in the mix which works really well. The slide guitar (could be an e-bow) adds a brilliant element. A great arrangement.

Run! Run! Levina!
Strummed chords and riff to open accompanied by lovely vocals, the song has a more defined groove and kind of urgency to it. Quite a delicate sound.

Gratuity
Strummed chords to open, a really natural percussion and bass create a great laid back groove complimented really well by Lucy’s vocals.

Lovers Gate
Lovely riff to open accompanied by beautiful vocals. The bass and percussion are subtle with a great natural organic sound. There are some lovely harmonies too.

Holding Out For The Kicks
A sad sounding riff with bass to open, superb vocals again. The arrangement is excellent, subtle percussion and great guitar playing with an excellent release at the end of the song.

Birchanger Blues
More uptempo strummed chords and vocals to open, great passion in the vocals with some lovely harmonies. Bass and drumming enter to give a great momentum and groove.

Missing Mannequin Man
Nice combination of guitar and piano to open. Great laid back vocals. Another excellent arrangement, there’s a beauty and feeling of longing in the vocals.

You Light Me Up
Great strummed riff and simple bass pattern to open, excellent vocals again. I really like the changes between an acoustic to a more brooding feel.

 
Little Lapin is currently on tour, you can see her at the following dates / venues:

The Musicians Pub, Leicester – 14th July 2016
Snails Delicatessen, Cardiff (sold out) – 16th July 2016
Milton Keynes International Festival – 17th July 2016
The Stable, Falmouth – 28th July 2016
The Star Inn, St Just, Penzance – 30th July 2016
Gylly Beach Cafe, Falmouth – 31st July 2016
ParkLive Festival, Falmouth – 31st July 2016
Castle Inn, St Ives – 6th August 2016
Antenna Studios, London – 17th September 2016

 
Social links:
website | facebook | twitter | bandcamp

Review of ‘My Unwinding State’ album by Sarah Schonert — July 8, 2016

Review of ‘My Unwinding State’ album by Sarah Schonert

 
This is a stunning album on every level. It’s captivating, beautiful, touching, haunting and uplifting at times too. The whole is so much greater than the sum of the individual parts and all of those are superb.

The piano playing is outstanding and synth, bass and percussion sounds are really well crafted and often used subtly to great effect.

The arrangements are brilliant, the layering creates a great combination and contrast of different elements and each song has a great flow. The lyrics are excellent and Sarah’s voice is really captivating.

The production gives the album a really organic, natural feel with a great ambience but also with just a hint of tension at times for contrast. Each sound has it’s own space to develop and evolve and there’s almost a cinematic feel at times too.

In fact it feels almost wrong to write about the individual components of each song, I’m not sure that words can really do them justice.

6 O’Clock
Great piano to open followed by a synth riff with subtle bass. The vocals tell a great story. There’s great use of subtle background elements and an edge of tension at times.

Break Me Down
Excellent piano playing complemented by a great synth sound, a combination of spoken and sung vocals. The rhythm is sparse and adds a great element. The vocals are excellent again and there’s brilliant layering of sounds.

Crying Miles
Excellent opening piano again, the bell sound compliments the piano really well. The arrangement is excellent again, subtle background sounds and percussion ebb and flow through the song with superb vocals too.

Hit Save
Another excellent opening riff with an accordion type of sound, the vocals are excellent again. Brilliant arrangement, subtle percussive rhythm and a great flow to the song.

Trade my Smile
There’s a purposeful feel to the opening piano, excellent vocals again with subtle background sounds. There’s an edge of tension at times, subtle build and release of tension and momentum.

Laundry Day
A simple but very effective arrangement with piano and vocals to open, there’s great layering and processing of vocals too.

We Were Something
There’s a dark feel to the opening riff, the vocals are subtle and there’s a kind of oppressive feel which lifts when the piano enters. There’s a great tension in this song, it’s beautiful and haunting.

Back Down Soon Under Steady Rain
I love the use of the recorded sound in the introduction which creates a great ambience. The piano playing is excellent and I also really like the processing used on the vocals, it’s quite subtle at times and creates a great ethereal feel. The song has a great ambience with just a hint of tension at times.

Experienne
An instrumental song, the opening riff has a great tension against the more swirling background sounds. The second riff has more of a softer quality. The arrangement and playing is outstanding, there’s such a great flow to the song but with just a hint of tension at times.

Maybe I
I really like the swirling sound and subtle riff to open, the vocals are more spoken. It’s a beautiful and touching song.

Georges
Lovely riff to open, the vocals are superb again with some excellent processing. I really like the change between the sung and spoken lyrics. Another excellent arrangement with some really subtle elements.

Spare You Me
Excellent piano with swirling background sounds to open, the vocals are excellent again. The song has a great flow, evolving really well.

Waterwings
I really like the distorted opening riff with ethereal sounding vocals that have a great drifting quality. The following synth sound is excellent, especially against the subtle swirling background sound. Superb vocals again, in fact there’s great sounds through the song, the subtle background distortion adds just a hint of tension which also builds through the song really well. There’s also superb piano playing again.

Shadows Don’t Listen
Quite an eerie bell type sound to open, the piano and subtle swirling background sound give a great contrast. Excellent processing on the vocals, the subtle background sounds add a great element. The arrangement and production is excellent too.

Corner
An opening organ type riff to open with spoken vocals, an excellent arrangement with bass and rhythm sitting low in the mix, almost sitting in the background. The riff creates a great build and release of tension. Excellent vocals again.

Stained and Smiling
Great opening synth sounds and processed vocals, excellent piano and subtle rhythm with excellent vocals again. I really like the arrangement, there’s subtle elements that drift in and out creating a really good change in feel.

 
Sarah Schonert on facebook

Sarah Schonert on twitter